Category Archives: health

Weekend Fun with Heart Attacks

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I’m not sure why I decided to have a heart attack over the holiday, but my body decided it was time and didn’t really give me a chance for input.   I should qualify it a little bit. I didn’t have an actual heart attack according to the final tests, but the preliminary tests were all red flags and shouting.

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So, I woke up in the middle of the night on Wednesday night with a pain in the left side of my chest.  My left arm was hurting and tingling with numbness.

Now, it is not something new.  I have arthritis in my rib cage and I tend to sleep on my left side.    So, although the pain was concerning, it was not reason to make a middle-of-the-night dash to the emergency room.  I eventually got back to sleep on my right side.  I was sluggish and ill the next morning, but I got a lot of house cleaning done and the chest pains were gone.

Thursday night the pains returned, but still not different than the arthritis pains that sent me to the cardiologist before, and not nearly as harsh and painful as the night before.   Again the pain went away in the day.

Friday night I picked up my son the Marine at the airport.  He was home on holiday leave.  We talked about my chest pains over a meal at I-hop.  He pulled rank on me and vowed to take me to the ER.  I talked him down to Primacare because it’s cheaper, still not believing it was real heart pain.

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The next morning Primacare didn’t go so well.  The EKG machine there predicted a major earthquake… or a typhoon, or something… and the Prima-doctor got all serious in the face.  “Do you want me to call an ambulance?  We are required to make the offer in these situations.”

“No, no.  My son is with me and can drive me to the Emergency Room.  I promise I will go.”

And so I did.

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At the ER they are very concerned that you don’t have anything in your pockets.  They quickly dressed me in a hospital gown and then surgically removed $200 (due to the wondrous way my insurance company has of not paying their portion of the bill).  So, lighter by that amount, they immediately hooked me up to their own EKG machine.  I had so many patches attached to the hair on my chest that I was guaranteed to be bald-chested when it came time to rip them all off again.  Then they  repeated the EKG testing done earlier in the day.  I swear, the same squirrel that was visiting Primacare when I was there earlier, sneaked into their EKG machine too and vigorously jumped up and down.  So, there it was.  The proof they needed that I had too much money left in my bank account.  And so they put me inside the hospital.

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Once inside, they rigged me up so one arm could be crushed by a BP sleeve every two hours, or more if they felt like it, and the other arm could be drained of blood so that they could tell if there was any further money in my bank account.

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Three days later, the enzymes in my blood said that what I had was mysterious and not a heart attack.  The stress test I had on Monday nearly killed me, and told them that I didn’t have enough money left in my bank account to keep in the hospital any longer.  I got out still wearing my arm band and allergy warning band as reminders that I really, really didn’t want to go back, but life is like that, and I still don’t know what caused it all, or if I will have to return to deal with it later on.

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Filed under autobiography, commentary, feeling sorry for myself, healing, health, humor, illness, Paffooney

Becoming a Nudist

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I have been to a nudist park and taken all my clothes off one time and one time only so far.  Yesterday was supposed to be visit number two.  On a Saturday there were supposed to be more visitors to meet and get to know… and I mean really get to know.  But it didn’t happen because of weather and poor health.  It rained.  And my blood sugar was a long way from perfect.  In many ways it was a relief not to go.  I was nervous about being with a crowd of naked people.  I was nervous about how to act and where to go, and especially, “What are the most embarrassing mistakes that beginning nudists make?”

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Because I figure I will probably make them.  And will it be extra embarrassing because I am walking around naked?  Probably.

But I do think it is not going to be a mere one-time experience that I will never do again.  I think I am committed to going back, not just because I am supposed to be writing for a nudist website, but because it benefits me health-wise, both physically and mentally.

To be specific, I have visited the Bluebonnet nudist park near Alvord, Texas. It is a beautiful campground and clubhouse facility.  I borrowed pictures from their website to post on this blog and give them a bit of extra advertising.

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Here’s the things that benefited me the most.  I got to meet some of the most welcoming and accepting people you ever want to meet.  They are polite, interesting to talk to, and just as naked and vulnerable as I am.  You can’t get much more socially equal than when you are talking to naked people.

The sunshine was also a very good thing for me.  The problem I have with psoriasis in old age is that the plaques and sores that result are never quite dry enough to heal when you are wearing clothes in the Texas heat.  But in the nude in the midst of nature, I felt cool and dry and hadn’t even a hint of the old itch that made me want to tear my skin off.

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They have a beautiful pool there, which I had all to myself during that first visit.  The picture with people in it is from their website.  It is one of two pools that they have there for weekly water-volleyball.

I didn’t believe it would be so relaxing and fun the first time I went, but I can safely say the feel of it, the sense of accomplishment of it, the feeling of self-acceptance it gives me, was worth all the risk of embarrassment I faced.  It was a stupid thing to do.  But I am not the only idiot drawn to it.  There are actually thousands of nudists in the United States.  There are even more  in Canada too.  I am actually glad I did it.  And though I didn’t make it back there on Saturday as originally planned, I do think I will be doing it again.

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Filed under goofiness, healing, health, humor, nudes, Paffooney, photos, strange and wonderful ideas about life

The Naked Truth About That Idiot Mickey

Well, I still can’t believe it, but I went ahead and did it.  Did what you ask?  Especially did what that makes me put the word idiot in the title you ask, after reflecting for a moment?  Well, I did tell you I agreed to write for a naturist website about the first time visiting a nudist park.  And, well… as nervous and as fearful and as willing to run and hide somewhere that the idea made me, especially with my splotchy-spotted psoriasis skin, I went.

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Yes, the nearby nudist park is called Bluebonnet.  It is located between Decatur and Alvord, Texas.  I had to call ahead and make an arrangement to be met at the gate and escorted in to the office to sign up for a day visit.  I had to call at least a day ahead of time.  I debated with myself for hours before I dialed that number.  Actually, once I took the step of calling in, it seemed all down hill from there.  My feet just sorta took me there, aided by my little car of course.  If you have read about my crazy adventures in nudity on this blog, you know that I have been around nudists and naturists before.  But I was never the one willing to be naked in the presence of others before, especially not people I didn’t already know as well as I know family members.  Stark naked in front of people!  And some of them are female!!!

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The front gate suggests I am entering a different world!

My knees felt like jelly as I reached the gate.  But there was no reason to turn around and go an hour and a half back home without at least trying.  So I called and they opened the gate.

The lady office manager was from the Philippines just like my wife.  She was easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable as we talked about my visit.  We were both wearing clothes at that point, not  a hard thing at all to accomplish.  So I paid a reasonable price and was given the run down on expected behaviors and rules.  This wasn’t some madhouse orgy site or such nonsense as that.  It was actually a family-oriented naturist club.  They expect you to act like any other camper in any other campground, just acting that way with no clothes on.

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Here’s a picture of the two swimming pools by the clubhouse to prove I actually went in.  Didn’t think I could actually do it, did you?  I didn’t have to worry about the no-pictures of other guests rule because it was 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday when I visited.  No sensible people were out naked in the sun.  In all I only met three other nudists, the office   manager and two gentlemen who weren’t much younger than me.  Everybody was pleasant and very encouraging.  No mention was made of my spotty old carcass, not even by me.  That kind of thing apparently never comes up.  They did all encourage me to enjoy the club and come back often enough  to become a member.  I actually found being naked to be quite pleasant. I hiked in the woods where it was shady.  I sat by the pool in the shade, and eventually swam.  I think I promised you before I would never inflict a picture of my naked spotted old carcass on you.  And I will hold myself to that promise now… even if I didn’t make that promise before.  I will, however, use a cartoon of brand new nudist Mickey to give you an idea of the nightmares you could be having if I didn’t keep that promise.

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So now I can write my naturist blog and tell other nudists all about my first time as a nudist at Bluebonnet Naturist Resort in Texas.  And the craziest thing of all is, I am actually beginning to think about going back and doing it again.  What is wrong with me?

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Filed under autobiography, foolishness, goofiness, health, humor, nudes, Paffooney

Well, I Still Ain’t Dead

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Yesterday I posted a long, sappy golly-yabber about things I had to tell you before I die.  I had experienced chest pains in the night and was rather planning on dropping dead somewhere during the day yesterday.

But it didn’t happen.  It was the same arthritis pain in the left side of my rib-cage that sent me to the cardiologist twice before.  So this time I got by planning to be dead today, and then, happily, it turned out that this morning I am still here.  See, pessimism works!  You only get pleasant surprises that way.

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But I really do believe that it is the trouble we have in life that makes life worth living.  I have value as a human being because I can use my creativity, determination, and relatively unstable mental condition to take on any problem.  And if I should happen to be defeated, like I was in my quest to save the swimming pool, then my barely sane and somewhat loopy work ethic simply moves me on to the next crappy Mickey trap to figure out how to get the cheese out of it without getting killed.

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So I ain’t dead.  In fact, I am still following my own personal yellow brick road.  And while tomorrow is not guaranteed, I can still sing and dance like Ray Bolger and Judy Garland as I am off to see the wizard.  And no, I don’t think I’m Judy Garland in that metaphor.  At least… not most of the time.

 

 

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, healing, health, humor, Paffooney, pessimism, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Followed by a Moon Shadow

Moonshadow by Cat Stevens

I first heard this song as a freshman in coll20160424_181349ege.  It struck me that it was hauntingly beautiful… but maybe I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant.

The song is about losing body parts and being okay with that.

That can actually be kinda creepy, right?

It is probably a song about gradually dying.

But that’s not really what it’s about.

I am there now.  Peeling, cracking, drying out… my life has reached the downhill run toward the finish line.  But I am not worried and not afraid.  Life is so much more than hands and eyes and legs and feet.  I can lose those things and have no regrets.  I am so much more than merely the sum of those physical things.

My spirit soars.  And my life is bound up in words and meanings that are now written down, and are at least as imperishable as paper.  And may, in fact, be written on a few human hearts here and there.

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Filed under feeling sorry for myself, healing, health, humor, illness, insight, inspiration, music, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

How Mickey Battles the Blues

It should be noted that Mickey does not battle the St. Louis Blues.  That is his favorite hockey team.  And while they have never won the Stanley Cup, they do win a lot and are almost always in the playoffs.  So they help fight depression.  Battling them would not only be counter-productive, but might also result in losing all those big square white middle teeth in that goofy smile.

But battling depression is a constant necessity.  Not only am I subject to diabetic depression and Donald Trump overload, but my entire family is prone to deep and deadly bad blue funks.  It helps to be aware that there are a lot of ways to fight that old swamp of sadness. It doesn’t have to keep claiming the Atreyu’s horse of your soul.  (Yes, I know that Neverending Story metaphors seriously date me to the 80’s and signify that I am indeed old… another reason I have to constantly fight depression.)

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I have some surefire methods for battling depression that apparently the science actually backs up.  It turns out that most of things that Mickey does actually stimulate the brain to produce more dopamine.

“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”  – Psychology Today

So, I guess I am secretly a dopamine addict.  It is a brain chemical you cannot focus or function effectively without.

  1. Being creative in some way fosters the production of dopamine in the old think-organ.  So writing this blog helps.  Doodling excessively helps.  Writing novels, painting pictures, drawing cartoons, and writing really remarkably bad poetry also help, and I do all of those things every week.
  2. Chicken Dancing helps.  Really.  Flapping your arms and wiggling your butt in such a stupidly silly way is aerobic exercise, and the very act of exercising increases not only dopamine but also serotonin and endorphin get a boost.  These are your “natural high” brain drugs.  Have you ever noticed chicken dancers are never really sad while dancing?  The ones crying excessively are either crying from happiness or extremely embarrassed teenagers forced to chicken dance by their goofy old dad.
  3. For more information about chicken dancing and its possible uses for evil, check out this link The Dancing Poultry Conspiracy Theory.  Because laughing about stuff is also a cure for depression.  It tends to even bypass dopamine and take a left turn through serotonin straight into the pleasure centers of the brain.
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  5. Winning streaks also help immensely.  Of course, I can’t always count on the St. Louis Blues to give me winning streaks.  X-Box EA Sports MVP Baseball 2004 set on the rookie difficulty level for the last decade helps with that.  I have won over 300 consecutive games including two World Series sweeps that way.  And Albert Pujols has hit over 1,000 home runs in his Mickian baseball career.
  6. Check lists also help because they are the same thing as winning streaks.  The sense of accomplishment you get from checking off boxes on your To-Do List also boosts dopamine in the same way.  So what if I am listing routine things like walking the dog, picking up socks, and taking out the trash?  A check mark is still a check mark and a check mark by any other name still smells like marker.
  7. And, of course, there is listening to music.  I am seriously addicted to classical music because every emotion from beautiful and awe-inspiring to butt-ugly brutal can be found somewhere in the works of the great composers. And don’t forget, Paul Simon, Don Henly, and Paul McCartney are in that category too.

8. And please, don’t forget food.  Depressed eating can easily make you fat, but there are certain magical chemicals in certain foods that give you certain dopamine-building effects that can turn blue skies to bright sunshine.  The primary chemical is called Tyrosine, and it can be found in a variety of foods like;

– Almonds

– Avocados

– Bananas

– Beef

– Chicken

– Chocolate

– Coffee

– Eggs

– Green Tea

– Milk

– Watermelon

– Yogurt

9.  And finally, thinking skills are critical.  While thinking too much and obsessing can get you into the tiger trap pits of depression, meditation, decompressive mantras and positive thinking can all dig you out and keep you out.

You are probably wondering what kind of nitwit authority I can actually bring to this topic, but I have spent a lot of money on therapy, not all of it for me, and I not only listen to psychiatrists and psychologists, but I remember what they explained to me.  And I have tried enough things to know what works.

So while you are busy chicken dancing to Beethoven while eating a banana, rest assured, Mickey is probably doing something just as embarrassingly ridiculous at the very same time.

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Filed under battling depression, commentary, Depression, family, healing, health, humor, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Doom Looms, Dear Ones

So, now that my imminent demise by lack of affordable health care is guaranteed, I decided to celebrate by Googling the words “Doom Looms”.  The following collage of doom and oddities in image form is the result.

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This is Dr. Doom, not Trump.  Trump would never admit a flaw.

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Stephen Hawking recently declared that we will not survive as a species if we don’t move off the planet Earth within the next 100 years.

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North Korea is at least keeping Trump entertained.

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Filed under angry rant, collage, feeling sorry for myself, health, politics